“Live today as if it’s your final one before I return; one of these days it will be.”
“You also must be ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come when least expected.” Matthew 24:44
C. S. Lewis, in his work The World’s Last Night stated “Precisely because we cannot predict the moment, we must be ready at all moments.” Insightful words from a man who could articulate simply the heart of God and, in this case, how we, as followers of Christ, should be living our lives.
During the rare moments when I’ve had the chance to be with those in hospice care during their final hours of life, family members have shared with me those statements they remember hearing from their loved ones… statements of regret… the “if I could do it over again…” statements. Interestingly, none have ever been based on working more hours or acquiring more ‘things’. In fact, the common theme has always been based on devoting more time to relationship with family and with God, and creating a legacy for future generations. So, it begs the question… do we need to be on our deathbed before realizing what God has been speaking to our hearts for so long… to follow Him? To trust Him?? To do all we can with the gifts He’s planted within us??? How can I live my life more intentionally so that when I stand before Him, I hear the words I long to hear coming from Jesus spoken in Matthew 25:23, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!”
One of the most curious questions raised in Christian circles, from scholars and those new to the faith, revolves around Jesus’ return… “When is He coming back?” We would love to know the answer to such a deep and critical question. It’s frustrating to wonder why God left it a mystery, even from Jesus. He didn’t even tell us why He didn’t tell us. Doesn’t He know how our lives depend on the answer? We are just sitting around here, biding our time until true life can begin. How about now, God? Now is good for us!
Okay, so let’s go there… say God did reveal His time frame for sending His son back to us, His followers. Let’s imagine for the moment that we have seven years left on earth. Or seventy, or even seven hundred. What would we do differently if we knew for sure?
You might say you would live each moment with a greater sense of urgency. You might resist a familiar temptation one more time because you can see the finish line in sight and want to end strong. Or, maybe you would show more patience towards loved ones, love more intentionally, work harder at relationship, or be more self-less than self-ish, since you would soon be face-to-face with Jesus, the lover of your soul. And, of course, you would look for opportunities to share the news of Jesus’ imminent return so others could prepare, as well. You wouldn’t want anyone to miss eternity with the Lord.
But… too bad we don’t know when He is coming back… For if we did, we would certainly life so differently!
Heavenly Father, I am beginning to think You didn’t reveal Your time frame so that we would preoccupy ourselves with living each day to the fullest instead of wasting precious hours wondering when to start getting ready. Please help me live today as if You’re coming today, since You just might!”